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19 September 2014
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Deva Palmier

Deva Palmier

Deva's film 'Fishy' earned her a runner-up prize in the BBC Three New Film Makers Award in 2004.


Her films have been screened at international festivals from Chicago to Edinburgh and she's worked with many acclaimed industry professionals.


She tells us more about her experience as a film maker and offers some advice about cast, crew, budgets, kit and how to survive!


Watch Deva's runner-up film Fishy

Q1. What did you learn from making Fishy?

The team for 'Fishy' was much bigger, so I learnt about collecting together an appropriate team to work with, and how to stand up to exec producers!


Q2. As a new film maker, what's the best way to find a good cast and crew?

Have a look at theatre, who do you enjoy watching? I would definitely recommend final year shows at drama schools. For crews, try and link up with a good production manager... It's about finding people with the right passion...


Q3. What's the minimum budget you need to make a film - and what kit do you need?

Making sure your team is happy is really important, so the minimum budget really is just covering expenses like transport and food for the crew and cast... You can hire a decent camera for not much money, just make sure you have a good microphone and tripod...


Q4. What are the key ingredients to making a good film?

It's really easy to look a total idiot by not planning your shoot, not getting the shots and not having a decent story... the three key ingredients are a compelling narrative, compelling actors and compelling pictures - you should feel the narrative through the visuals...


Q5. Is there any topic you think is too shocking, or too taboo for films?

Well I do meditate and I am a pacifist, but I'm writing a very violent horror film! I'm having fun and I really 'get' violence... However, the reasoning behind that violence will stick with where I come from... Anything goes, I'd do anything, but I'd do it from me...


Q6. How do you get your films seen? Are festivals the best way to market them?

Every film has a market - there's festivals, mobile phones, the internet - but really we have to make our films stand out. There are all sorts of different festivals - I've had films screened at Chicago and AFI... It's worth looking at the festivals and seeing exactly what films they picked and what films won the prizes and then go for it!


Q7. How do you survive day-to-day? Is there one piece of advice you wish you'd been told when you were starting out?

It's really difficult! But I'm doing up my bathroom and kitchen so that I can get a tenant for my flat and then I can really focus on my feature films... It's worth getting a part-time job just to bring in some income! The one great thing I was told was "whatever you do, never put yourself in a position where somebody can tell you that you can't make a film."


Find out more about Deva and her success with 'Fishy'.


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